AT Podcast Art

Managing Director Edition with Emika Abe and Mike Schleifer

Welcome to Season 2 of the Alliance Theatre Podcast: An exploration of theater and the people who make it happen.

Join Alliance’s Director of Diversity, Inclusion, & Engagement as he dives into conversation with Emika Abe, Managing Director of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington D.C., followed by a conversation with Mike Schleifer, Managing Director of the Alliance Theatre here.

How does one manage a theatre? How does one manage a theatre during a pandemic when audiences can’t gather in traditional spaces? How does one manage a theatre while meeting the demands of the WeSeeYouWAT document in order to create a more equitable theatre-making practice for BIPOC artists and beyond? Find out from two of the country’s finest in this episode of the Alliance Theatre Podcast: Managing Director Edition.


EMIKA ABE (Managing Director; Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company) joins the Woolly after three years as the Associate Managing Director of the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA), the largest regional theatre in the Southeast. At the Alliance, Emika led a portfolio of projects that guided the theatre's organizational strategy, culture, and general management. These included stewarding the 70-person Advisory Board, co-chairing the Alliance's Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and defining the theatre's mission, vision, and values. Emika is on the Advisory Board of Found Stages, she served as Mentorship Co-Chair of LORT's EDI Initiative, and she is an alum of LEAD Atlanta, Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta, and Theatre Communications Group's Young Leaders of Color. Emika holds an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and a BA in Theater from UCLA. At Yale, she was the recipient of the Morris J. Kaplan Award for Theater Management and Co-Chair of the Internship Fund. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Emika has previously held positions at Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Palo Alto Children's Theatre, as well as fellowships at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Center Theatre Group, and Artists Repertory Theatre. Emika is passionate about the intersection of art and business, and the essential role that theatre can play in activating individuals and strengthening communities.

MIKE SCHLEIFER (Managing Director; Alliance Theatre) joined the Alliance Theatre in 2014 as General Manager, and in 2016 became Managing Director. While at the Alliance, Schleifer has led the administrative team on more than 50 productions and was one of the architects of the “On the Road” season, in which the Alliance produced 12 shows at 12 venues. He is proud to have started the Alliance’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and to serve on the League of Resident Theatre’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. Previously, he spent 13 years at Baltimore’s Center Stage, working as Associate Producer, Production Manager and Resident Stage Manager. While in Baltimore, he spent seven years as an adjunct faculty member at Towson University and guest lectured all over the East Coast. Schleifer began his career as a Stage Manager and has dozens of stage-management credits in New York and regionally. He is married to theater director and educator Laura Hackman and is the proud father of two boys, Jack and Ben.

DAVIORR SNIPES (Director of Diversity, Inclusion, & Engagement; Alliance Theatre) is Theatre graduate from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He is also a member of Actor's Equity Association. He currently serves as the Director of Diversity, Equity & Engagement for the Alliance Theatre. As a professional actor he as appeared Off-Broadway with the Ensemble Studio Theatre and has toured nationally with Theaterworks USA. He is a Peabody Award winner for his work on the NPR Podcast, Buried Truths, and has also appeared in the BET tv series, American Soul. In addition to his work at the Alliance he regular performs around Atlanta with companies such as Vanguard Repertory Theatre and Working Title Playwrights. 


For more information about our work in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion please click here.

For more information about the Alliance Theatre Podcast please click here.


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